Danger for the labor market: Lauterbach warns against underestimating Long Covid

The corona pandemic may feel over for many, but Minister of Health Lauterbach fears that society will still have serious problems as a result of Long Covid.

Danger for the labor market: Lauterbach warns against underestimating Long Covid

The corona pandemic may feel over for many, but Minister of Health Lauterbach fears that society will still have serious problems as a result of Long Covid. Germany is not prepared for the possible long-term consequences of a corona infection.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has urgently advocated taking the long-term health consequences of some corona infections seriously. Long Covid is not only a problem for those affected, but also for the health system and society as a whole, said the SPD politician "Zeit Online". "We don't even have the capacity to deal with the many cases," says Lauterbach. "There are not enough specialized doctors, not enough treatment places, we don't have any medication yet. Something is really coming our way here." The problems associated with Long Covid are widely underestimated.

The SPD politician said: "This will also be relevant for the labor market, because unfortunately many will not return to their old productivity." He is also hoping for a vaccine that will also help against infection with the omicron variant. “Hopefully this not only protects against a severe course, but also against infection and thus also against Long Covid,” the minister continued. Every corona infection carries the risk of long covid, Lauterbach warned on Twitter on Saturday.

According to an evaluation of data from insured persons published by Techniker Krankenkasse on Wednesday, almost one percent of employees who had received a corona diagnosis with a PCR test in 2020 were on sick leave in 2021 with the diagnosis Long Covid. The sick leave took a relatively long time - an average of 105 days. Long-Covid sufferers who were in hospital for more than seven days because of their corona infection were on sick leave for an average of 168 days in the following year. For people who had to be ventilated in the hospital, it was even an average of 190 days.

Common symptoms of Long Covid are severe exhaustion, concentration problems, extreme tiredness, shortness of breath and even muscle and joint pain. Even people with an originally mild course of a corona infection can be affected.

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